Alaska's Premier                                                              Fly Fishing Source

Alaska's Premier Fly Fishing Source

The Togiak is a fairly large river and it can be unforgiving to new anglers.  This should help you to have the best float trip possible.

As you start out of Togiak Lake, you should see the last of the kings and chums spawning and possible some sockeye starting. As you get farther down the river, you should see lots of large spawning beds in the slower runs, braids and back channels.   You will most likely be following the end of king and chum spawns with sockeye activity starting as you continue down.  The thing to remember is that the earliest salmon spawns typically start high and the rivers and start later as you get closer to the ocean. Kings that enter the river in late May typically start spawning in mid to late July by the lake, where kings entering the river in mid to late July typically spawn in the lower 10 miles of the river.

In and around active spawning salmon is where eggs will do best.  The Togiak is know for its crazy numbers of Dolly Varden.  These Dollies will often be found in greatest number eating eggs right in and just behind the spawning beds.  Various shades of #6-8 Glo Bugs, Fish Emission Eggs, Billy's Crystal Egg and Battle Creek Specials can all be deadly effective.  If throwing Beads 8mm and 10mm will cover your bases, even on sockeye beds.  Mottled Natural Roe, Dark Roe, Peach Roe, Montana Roe, Tangerine and Orange Clear are all producers for fresh eggs.  Standard Oregon Cheese, Peach Pearl, Apricot Pearl, Pink and Sun Orange are all good "dead" egg imitations that can be best when fishing over old beds or in between beds.

Streamers and flesh flies are a must this time of year, especially if you want the best shot at the 30" plus rainbow.  Smaller flesh flies like the Twofer, Choker,  Flesh Fly, Furry Party Flesh and Micro Flesh can all be good dead drifted on the outside of salmon beds and in the shallower runs just below beds.  Larger trout tend to hang outside of the spawning chaos and the "Dolly" feeding frenzy.  Often either dropping a bead or an egg pattern off of these small flesh patterns and Battle Creeks can be good way to go to pick up trout.  Avoid doing a double bead rig as Dollies will just make an absolute mess out ot the rig if they eat the upper bead.

Larger articulated flesh patterns, Dolly Llamas and sculpin patterns can also be the ticket to finding large trout.  Swinging these patterns along the outsides of large gravel bars or where braids or tributaries is a great way to go.  The big trout is this river tend to act like steelhead and can be enticed by a swung fly.  The same patterns can also work well when fishing the under cut banks and over/behind snags and root wads. Here both a swung fly or a stripped fly can work. All white and black/white Dolly Llamas can be deadly when fished this way.

Lastly, keep a few mice on hand.  Big bows are suckers for a swimming rodent.  Try the Mr. Hankey or the Bob Gnarly off of cut banks, in braids and over snags. There's nothing like a big trout crushing a rodent.  You should also try skating the AK Gurgler over the spawning beds to pull up both Rainbows and Dollies.

Silvers will be slow to start and you will see the best fishing for them from starting at the confluence of the Togiak and Kimuk (mid float) and down.  Silver are suckers for streamers like LE Egg Sucking Leeches and variations of the Egg Sucking Leeches, Hareball Leeches. Kilowatts, Deep Sixes and the DOLLY LLAMA.  The Dolly LLama has become the most popular pattern for silver and rightly so.  It is DEADLY. Dolly can be fished on the swing, on the strip, on the drift, with a sink tip, with out a sink tip and every other possible way imagined. All of the other patterns are best when stripped retrieved off of a floating line or a short sink tip. Patterns in the darker colors scheme work best up higher while brighter pinks, fuchsias and sometimes chartreuses work best closer to tide water.  Water levels with dictate where and how many fish will be in the river.  If the river is relatively low and there is little to no rain, most of the fish will be sitting along open gravel bars where oxygen levels are good. If its too low and warm, most of the fish will sit out in the bay and wait for rain.  If the water is high and there is a lot of rain, the fish will pool up in the frog water sloughs and slow water on the lower end of the gravel bars.  These fish are often very grabby and can also be ideal to taking top water wogs.

This should help you have the most successful trip on the Togiak. Email mike@alaskaflyfishinggoods.com for more information.






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Fishing in Alaska for the first time?

Fly Fishing in Alaska for the first time Brad Elfers has been a fly fishing & river guide in Alaska since 1993.
He opened Alaska Fly Fishing Goods in 1998.

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